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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sat Jul 31, 2004 3:06 am

Feeling bored, found this; biography of Rang Hou, book 72 of the Shi Ji (with annotations):

Edit: In Chinese, of course.

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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Aug 01, 2004 1:06 am

Muchas gracias, Morg. I'll make the revisions and send them off to old James. Screw the problematic phrases--I'll ask him to update them later when I manage to haul my lazy behind to the Asian library and find some reference books. :P

LYT: YES! I was right--it's in the Shi Ji. Care to post the translation, since you're bored? 8-)
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:19 am

Lady Wu wrote:LYT: YES! I was right--it's in the Shi Ji. Care to post the translation, since you're bored? 8-)

Well, it's pretty short, so I'll give it a try.

Edit: Please see below for complete translation.

Last edited by Liu Yuante on Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:06 pm

Biography of the Marquis Rang

The Marquis Rang Wei Ya was the younger brother of the Empress Dowager Xuan, the mother of King Zhao of Qin(1). Suo Yin states that he was the Empress Dowager Xuan’s younger brother by a different father, and that his family name was Wei, his given name Ya, and he was styled Rang. Local records indicate that he was from Rang county in Nanyang(2). The Empress Dowager Xuan showed favor to the King’s imperial concubine, granting her the family name of Mie, and also bestowing the surname Mie upon his eight sons. His ancestors amongst the people of Chu(3) had gone by the family name of Mie. They had adopted the name of Mie after being driven out by rebellion.

When King Wu of Qin(4) died, he was without issue, and so his younger brother was established as King Zhao. King Zhao’s mother had given to his eight sons the surname Mie, and when King Zhao ascended to the throne, the eight sons bearing the name of Mie were placed under the care of the Empress Dowager Xuan. The Empress Dowager Xuan was not King Wu’s mother. King Wu’s mother was called Hui Wen Hou, and King Wu passed away before she did. Suo Yin, in the Qin Benji states: When King Zhao was two years old, the Regular Palace Guards in concert with the Gongzi Da Chen sought to rebel. All of them were executed, including Hui Wen Hou, and none of them obtained an honorable death. Additionally, the Ji Nian presents the following information as being correct: The Qin civil strife resulted in the deaths of the previous Empress Dowager and her sons Yong and Zhuang.

The Empress Dowager Xuan had two younger brothers, and he who was her younger brother by a different father was called Marquis Rang, his family name was Wei and his given name Ya. Her younger brother of the same father was called Mie Rong, and known as Hua Yang Jun. Suo Yin states that Hua Yang was originally from Han(5), but later came to Qin. Mie Rong was also later known as Xin Cheng Jun. The Zhengyi of Sima Biao states: Hua Yang was also called Ting, and he was from Mi county in Luo province. He was also known as Hua Cheng and in Zheng province he was the administrator of Nan in Cheng county, which had a population of thirty households. In addition, King Zhao’s siblings by way of the same mother were called Gao Ling Jun, and Jing Yang Jun. Suo Yin states that their given names were Xian and Kui, respectively. However, Wei Ya was the most virtuous, and he received great favor from the King, and King Wu would regularly appoint him to official positions. When King Wu died, all of his relatives sought to establish their favorites, however only Wei Ya was strong enough, being able to establish King Zhao. As such, King Zhao ascended the throne and he appointed Ya as Military Commander, with total control of the army. He had Ji Jun executed for treason, and in addition expelled the Queen Consort Wu, who fled into Wei(6). King Zhao did harm to all of his siblings, executing every one of them, and by means of force he strengthened the state of Qin. When King Zhao was still young the Empress Dowager Xuan acted as regent and she appointed Wei Ya to handle the affairs of state. The Jijue of Xu Guang states: Nian Biao states that Ji Jun was put to death for treason. Ben Ji states that when the Regular Palace Guards together with the Da Chen Gongzi rebelled, they were killed. According to Suo Yin, Ji Jun’s choice to ascend the throne was Gongzi Zhuang, and he treasonously attempted to establish him in return for being named as Ji Jun. Rang Hou was stronger, however, and was able to establish King Zhao on the throne, in the process becoming Military Commander with total control of the army. He then had Ji Jun and Hui Wen Hou put to death; for this reason does the Ben Ji state that they were killed. It states further that the Hui Wen Hou did not obtain an honorable death. Hui Wen Hou was habitually partial toward Gongzi Zhuang, and she desired for him to be established on the throne. As a result, she was executed by guardsmen, which is a shameful way for an Empress to meet her end. It is for this reason that it is said she did not obtain an honorable death, and again the histories conceal information considered taboo. And again, when it is said that the Queen Consort Wu was expelled and fled to Wei, the very same thing is occurring.

(1)King Zhao of Qin (秦昭王; also known as King Zhao Xiang of Qin - 秦昭襄王) ruled from 307 B.C. to 250 B.C. He was the great-grandfather of Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇帝).

(2)Nanyang was located in what is now the modern-day province of Henan.

(3)Chu (楚) was the southernmost of the 7 great states during the Warring States period. Originally comprised of non-Chinese people and language they were gradually Sinicized over the centuries. By this time the process was all but complete. Chu was the largest of the great states but by the time of Marquis Rang, though they had plentiful resources, they were rather weak despite their size.

(4)King Wu of Qin (秦武王) ruled from 311 - 307 B.C.

(5)Han (韩) was another of the great states of the Warring States period. There was also a smaller state called Han that had already been destroyed by this point. Where Chu was to the very south and Qin was in the west, Han was located just to the east of Qin, sandwiched between Wei (魏) to the north and Chu to the south.

(6)Wei (魏) was east of the northern part of Qin, and bordered Zhao (赵) to the north, Qi (齐) to the east, Chu to the southeast and Han to the South.

When King Zhao was seven years old, #the Chu Lizi died#, and so Jing Yang Jun was given the task of administering the government. A messenger from Zhao(7) had been slow in arriving to see the Qin Prime Minister. Zhao state was currently in a disadvantageous position and so had sent Chou Ye to Qin for the purpose of asking assistance of Wei Ya, the acting Prime Minister of Qin. Chou Ye sought aid, but a visiting Song(8) official said the following to him, “Qin will not hear your business, for reaching the palace late will surely generate ill will toward your entreaty. On official business one must not expect to arrive at the palace late and then say ‘I have come to plead official business not urgent to Qin.’ If the King of Qin were aware that Zhao was engaging in discussion with the Prime Minister Wei Ya regarding matters that are not urgent, he would simply close his ears to your business. #Your proposal will meet with no success because of the virtue of the Prime Minister; Wei Ya is virtuous, whereby he is successfull. ”# Whereupon Chou Ye left. And indeed, Qin made sure that a tardy arrival precluded the possibility of meeting with the Prime Minister of Qin, Wei Ya. Suo Yin states that at the time their military policy included war with the state of Hao, #and Gai Shi states that the achievements of every man were recorded. In this way they aspired to righteousness with regard to their reputation.# Suo Yin states that at the time their military policy included alliance with the state of Song.(9)

He wished to execute Lu Li, and so Li hurriedly fled to Qi. When King Zhao was fourteen years old Wei Ya selected Bai Qi(10), employing him as Xiang Shou for the purpose of attacking Han, and then Wei. Defeating them, he then ravaged them, beheading twenty-four thousand and taking prisoner the Jiang Gong Sun Xi of Wei. The next year, he obtained the compliance of Chu in making peace. Wei Ya, on account of illness, excused himself from his duties as Prime Minister, and Shou Zhu temporarily assumed the duties of Prime Minister. The following year Zhu stepped down and Ya returned to his position as Prime Minister. On returning, there was conferred on Wei Ya regarding his successes, having again further developed the state, the name of Marquis Rang(11). The Jijie of Xu Guang states: Each of the following is a deeper explanation. Suo Yin says that with the regard to development it increased steadily. Xu Guang offers this further explanation, that the root for the character ‘tao - cultivate’ is easily misread. And this according to Wang Shao, namely that the statement of steady development is found inscribed on Wei Ya’s tomb, is another elaboration.

Rang Hou, in his fourth year in power, led Qin into war with Wei. Wei offered up some 400 li of territory to the east of the river. He penetrated the Wei lands beyond the river, taking more than 60 cities, both large and small. When King Zhao was nineteen he was proclaimed as Emperor of the West as well as Emperor of the East. In the month of Yu Lu Li returned, and Qin changed titles again, reverting from Emperor back to King. Wei Ya returned to the position of Prime Minister of Qin, having excused himself after six years. After being absent from the position for two years, he again became Prime Minister. In the fourth year, he tasked Bai Qi with capturing Ying county in Chu, and Qin established Nan(12) county. Wherefore was conferred upon Bai Qi the title of Wu An Jun. Bai Qi was the most favored of those holding positions under Rang Hou, and the two were mutual friends. As a result of these things, Rang Hou became quite prosperous, and prosperous too was his household.

(7)Zhao (赵) was the second-most northerly state in the Warring States period, only Yan being further north. Zhao bordered Qin in the southwest, Wei to the south, Qi to the southeast and Yan to the east/northeast.

(8)Song (宋) was not one of the 7 major states of this period. Song was an L-shaped state bordering Wei to the west, Qi to the northeast and Chu to the south. They were destroyed in 286 B.C. The event referred to in this passage took place in 302 B.C. since King Zhao took the throne when he was 2 and at the time he was seven.

(9)My translation of this passage, both the commentary and the main text of the Song visitor's reprimand, is probably not entirely correct. Most of the sense is probably literally there but it could be rendered better and there may be some mistakes.

(10)295 B.C. Bai Qi was a prominent Qin personage in his own right, and has his own biography in the Shi Ji. This reference to the invasion of Wei and Han seems to refer to the Battle of Yique, dated to 293 B.C., in which Qin defeated the coalition of Han and Wei.

(11)The character for Rang (穰) can mean a number of things - the most basic meaning is as a plentiful harvest or 'bumper crop'. It can, from there, be considered to mean abundant or successfull, in general. It can also be used to mean 'exorcise'. In addition, the character tao (陶) - rendered above as cultivation - can also mean to make pottery, to shape or sculpt, to develop, and to be happy or content. Considering that the Marquis Rang's home region is Rang (see paragraph one of the translation), using the same character as in his name, it is difficult to tell exactly how this paragraph is meant to be read. Despite the fact that he pays careful attention to the matters of harvests and crops both in ensuring one's own state's prosperity and also in terms of bringing another to its knees, and despite the fact that he has recently overcome an illness, it is most likely that the character for Rang is intended in its capacity of 'success' and that tao - cultivate - is intended in the sense of shaping or sculpting the state of Qin through military conquest and improvement, hence development. Previously I had come to a different conclusion and I was almost certainly wrong.

(12)Nan county was located approximately in the eastern portion of what today is Sichuan province.

When King Zhao was thirty-two years old(13), Rang Hou, acting as Chancellor of State, led the army to attack Wei, going by way of Mang Mao toward Beizhai, and surrounded Daliang. The Jijie says that he went by way of Mo Ang, and took the downward path instead. The Jijie of Xu Guang states: In the fifth year of King Hui of Wei(14), the city of Zhaiyang was tasked with building a fence. The Zhengyi Zhu Shu states: Zhaiyang was also known by the name Beizhai. The Kuodi Zhi states: The people of Zhaiyang constructed city walls seventeen li in length about the city of Xinan, which was located in the county of Xingyang in Zheng province. At Liang there was a man by the name of Xu Gu, who said to Rang Hou, “An official overheard a senior official of Wei tell the King of Wei, ‘In former times, King Hui from Liang attacked Zhao and the Liang forces scored three victories, capturing Handan; the Jijie of Xu Guang states: the Tian Fan of Shi Jia says that Wei attacked Zhao and Zhao had the worst of it in the fighting at Nanliang. Suo Yin says that three times did the Liang forces march on Nanliang. But the Zhao did not give up and as a result they were able to regain Handan. All of the men fought to defend their homeland from being taken, and the good people from being killed. Suo Yin states that they defended their homeland before fleeing to the fields about Chu. Later ‘gudi – old haunt’ is used, as they also in this way referred to the fields about Chu. During the Warring States period it was customary to use ‘wei – defend’. This character should be regarded in every case as ‘yan – close/intimate’, and ‘zi liang – good people’ should be read as ‘zi zhi – they themselves’, as they were not afraid. The defenders would not give up, such that their ancestral home was not lost. The defenders, so as not to become vassals of foreign dukes and princes, brought Zhao state’s full force of arms to bear, such that they were able to avert the disaster that would have occurred had they lost territory. Regarding Song, Zhongshan(15) frequently went to war with them and lost territory, the state itself then following suit by perishing. It is my opinion that we should remain on the defensive, following the way of Zhao, and of Song, and that the example of Zhongshan must be shunned. Qin, who has an insatiable desire for overrunning other nations, should not be trusted. They encroach on the clan of Wei, using every means available to them to advance their state. Suo Yin says that Wei was hemmed in on the east and the west by rivers, their territory falling within the two, this being why they were encroached upon. In the present day it is said that Qin encroached on Wei, and put all of their resources toward increasing the territory of their state. They suddenly and violently attacked, taking eight counties, but because the land is not in full harvest, their army will retreat. It will be the men of Qin who grow tired of personal misfortune! Now, though they have come by way of Mang Mao and have entered Beizhai, we should not dare to attack, and be as Liang, even as they threaten you in order to (goad you into attacking and so) lose large quantities of territory. You must not listen to them. Now, my King, unfortunate is Chu, and Zhao is speaking with Qin. Suo Yin explains that ‘jiang – say, speak’ should be read as ‘he – at peace’. Should Chu and Zhao become angry and therefore go over to you and take part with you in contending against Qin, Qin will surely suffer from it. Even if Qin holds Chu, and the army of Zhao in retaliation attacks Liang, the course of the state should be to not plead and so be unconquerable. As before, you must surely not negotiate with them. If you should choose to negotiate, and cede to them a small bit of land, you will become their pawn; if you do otherwise, you will surely appear intimidated.' Suo yin explains: to choose to enter negotiations with Qin, and cede a portion of land would be to entreat Qin to take a hostage; be fearful (of this happening), otherwise surely Qin will bully you. This is that which was learned from the minister from Wei, desiring the king to view the situation in this way. Suo Yin says that Xu Gu said to the Marquis Rang that a man of Wei from Liang said to the king that if he ceded a portion of land, it would make him the pawn of Qin, that they would most certainly be bullied, and that the reputation of Wei would become that of one intimidated by Qin. The Zhou Shu says ‘To be at the mercy of fate is not common’, meaning that it is not possible to be consistently lucky. Your men have quickly and suddenly been victorious, taking possession of eight counties and this should not be considered as due to the vigor of military strength, nor should it be considered as due to the labor of planning; good fortune has done far more. Today, you have come by Mang Mao and entered Beizhai so as to attack Daliang, and therefore one should regard good fortune as having occurred frequently. A wise person would not think otherwise. This official has heard regarding the Wei that all of their hundreds of counties have furnished soldiers for the garrison of Daliang, and he believes that there are no fewer than three hundred thousand of them. Because the throng of three hundred thousand is defending Liang’s seven-ren city walls, which the official believes to be their height, combined with their military resurgence, the city will not be easy to attack. The Jijie of Er Ya states: one ren was said equal four chi, and two ren was said to equal a single xun. (16) Your men regard lightly the unlucky Chu, and the armies of Zhao. However, atop the seven-ren city walls you will come into conflict with the throng of three hundred thousand men, and keeping in mind that you must displace them, the official himself believes that, with regard to the current situation, the whole affair hinges on dispersing them, and whether those not-having can become those-who-have. Furthermore, if you attack and do not capture them, the Qin army will surely be defeated, therefore to be successful the city must be taken, and the standards of prior conflicts must be discarded. Suo Yin says that ‘tao – contented’ should be read as ‘Wei’. He says that in advance of attack, Qin must gain the city wall of the Wei capital, and they must disregard the normal rules of conquest lest they relinquish it again to Wei. The correct and upright action is to decide to cultivate somewhere hard by Daliang, for if the Marquis Rang attacks with weary soldiers, this decision regarding cultivation will surely lead to being cut down by Wei. Now, Wei is doubtful of its course, and it may be possible to obtain a small cessation. Suo Yin says that with regard to drawing Wei into negotiations the official’s perspective was to not allow the king to speak with Qin, but the Wei were doubtful of this course, so that a portion of land may be annexed, thereby controlling Wei. As before, my lord, bad fortune afflicts Chu, and the soldiers of Zhao are not here at Daliang, so it is urgent that you reduce them through seizure so as to control Wei. Wei is doubtful of its course, so that you must obtain a small cessation for the sake of your advantage, and they must agree to it, the reason being that the lord obtains that which he desires. If Chu and Zhao become angry with regard to Wei and go away from you, they will surely contend against Qin, and join with them for the purpose of scattering you, and thereby you will be undermined in this way. Suo Yin says that if Chu and Zhao become angry, joining with Wei to strive against Qin, then all of them will contend the matter against Qin and they will cause them to disperse back to the eastern part of their statet; such is the cause of the statement ‘and they will join with them for the purpose of scattering you.’ Even so, you must obtain some land, as some comfort must surely be afforded your army! If entrance to this country is cut off, and the army of Qin does not attack, then Wei surely will render their tranquil city crimson. Again, however, for the sake of farming both sides of the road must be secured. Song would also then become almost within reach, their defenses surely rendered isolated and conquerable.

(13)277 B.C. Note, however, that Song was destroyed in 286 B.C. yet further on it is stated that Qin can take the land of Song if they garrison/control the roads leading into Wei. There is either an error in the text, an error in my interpretation or the reference is to the land formerly belonging to Song.

(14)King Hui of Wei (魏惠王) was the third ruler of the state of Wei, and moved the capital from Anyi to Daliang. Because of this Wei is sometimes also referred to as Liang, not to be confused with a minor state of the same name from the Spring and Autumn period that was destroyed by Qin in the last 7th century B.C.

(15)Zhongshan (中山) was a tiny state completely surrounded by Zhao on the west and Yan on the east. They were destroyed in 296 B.C.

(16)Ren, chi, and xun are all measuremnts. In general, a ren is usually 7 chi, rather than 4, and a xun usually is not much longer than a ren, being about 8 chi. Ren, in general, = 1.575 m, a chi = 22.5 cm and a xun = 1.80 m. This annotation, however, has a ren as being only 4 chi, such that a xun, instead of being only marginally larger than a ren, is instead double, or 8 chi. Therefore, it would seem that at the time, either of the annotation or of the events listed, a chi and a xun held their generic quantities but a ren was shorter than at other times.

Suo Yin says that if the Marquis Rang cultivates the land, Wei will render as crimson their peaceful city, and he will be able to obtain the land east of the river. It continues, saying that for Qin to turn to cultivation the two roads west of the river and east of the river must be kept open. Zhengyi says that if Rang enacted fixed cultivation, it would cause Song to suffer isolation and be conquerable through cultivation of the southern road, and the peaceful city of Wei would be rendered crimson through cultivation of the northern road. Suo Yin says that the news of Wei’s submission would reach their (Song’s) capital. Within time, Song would afterwards also fall, and Qin would find it within their means to obtain all of the Song territory. The Qin army yet completely surrounds the city, and you continue to restrict it, but this restriction is how to fail to achieve, and how to act so as to be unsuccessful! It is plain that you must give careful thought to this if you are to avoid putting yourself in peril.” Suo Yin explains he was not to completely surround Liang as it would place them in grave danger. The Marquis Rang replied, “Perfect.” Thereupon he put an end to the encirclement of Daliang. The Zhengyi Biao says that in the second year of King An Li of Wei(17), Qin attacked and seized the city wall of Daliang, but Han arrived to rescue Wei, and took part with Qin in reviewing the situation for the purpose of making peace.

The next year Wei violated Qin, along with Qi, with whom they were allied. Qin employed the Marquis Rang to strike down Wei, and he beheaded forty thousand men. He entered Wei and went about striking cruelly and suddenly as a kite(18), taking three counties from Wei. Whereupon, honors were conferred upon the Marquis Rang.

The next year, the Marquis Rang along with Bai Qi visited the minister of Hu Yang and again attacked Zhao, Han and Wei, destroying Mang Mao and taking Huayang. Beheading one hundred thousand men, they seized from Wei’s possession The Jijie says that the local governments were overthrown. Caiyang and Changshe, and from the Zhao they took Guanjin. Even as they took Guanjin from Zhao, they made an addition to Zhao’s army, and attacked Qi. Suo Yin says that having already obtained Guanjin they followed by ordering Zhao to attack Qi, and Qin also added their army so as to assist Zhao. King Xiang of Qi was fearful and for the sake of Qi employed some to act as rescuers to secretly meet with the Marquis Rang and speak as follows, “We officials have heard those coming and going saying, ‘Qin has increased Zhao’s soldiers by forty thousand for the purpose of attacking Qi’. In speaking to the King of the danger to the city it behooved us to say, ‘The King of Qin is brilliant and therefore skillful with regard to ruses, and the Marquis Rang is wise, wherefore he is accomplished in his duties. Wherefore, they will not join forty thousand soldiers with Zhao for the sake of attacking Qi.’ Suo Yin says they went to inform the King of Qi, saying that certainly they would not increase the size of the army so as to assist Zhao. Zhengyi says that the officials were those acting as rescuers. They would have to notify that Qin had joined forty thousand soldiers with Zhao for the sake of attacking Qi. Zhengyi says that this refers to the King of Qi. Isn’t this correct? Three of us have come together to meet with Qin in secrecy regarding this quarrel. Though we have harmed each other many times, and also deceived each other many times, do not now doubt us, for it is not for nothing that we have traveled here. Currently you seek to destroy Qi using the plentiful resources of Zhao, but Zhao and Qin have a deep history of enmity, wherefore this is not to the advantage of Qin. This is the first objection. The Qin strategists will surely say, ‘If you destroy Qi, invasions will occur as consequently Chu emerge to make advances against us and victory will belong to them.’ Zhengyi says if Qin invades today, then Chu will strike down Qi and advance, going on to other states and causing damaging losses. The men of Qi and their state will be finished, for if you use every available resource to attack Qi, we will be as fragile baskets burst and torn apart by a thousand jun crossbow, and we will surely perish, and then will not Chu be secure in their ability to inflict harm upon you? This is the second objection. If Qin dispatches a small force then Chu will be doubtful of the suitability of an invasion; whereas, if a massive dispatch of soldiers is sent, then with regard to criteria for invading Chu will (view it as suitable and) act so as to take over Qin. Qi is fearful, not of Zhao and Qin, but that Chu surely will move to attack. This is the third objection. Qin taking a scalpel to Qi will entice Chu to invade. Chu will inquire as to the size of the force, and the invasion will cause Qin to be turned about and suffer attack. This is the fourth objection. The truth of your advance is that Chu is using Qin to scheme against Qi, and is using Qi to scheme against Qin. Isn’t this attack, then, Chu’s wisdom but Qin and Qi’s folly? This is the fifth objection. Therefore, to obtain tranquility for your state you must use caution regarding this matter and your state will surely not come to harm. Qin having a secure state, the clan of Han will surely be party to its supremacy. To seize the hearts and bellies of the whole world, and in joining together to dispatch armies becoming objects of fear and unopposable, wouldn't this be to your benefit?. For this reason we officials said that the King of Qin is brilliant and therefore skillful with regard to ruses, and the Marquis Rang is wise, wherefore he is accomplished in his duties. Wherefore, they will not join forty thousand soldiers with Zhao for the sake of attacking Qi.” Seeing this to be true, the Marquis Rang did not go, instead leading the army away.(19)

(17)King Anli of Wei (魏安釐王) was the 7th king of Wei.

(18)This can also be rendered as "glede" and it refers to a type of predatory bird.

(19)The two main arguments being presented seem to be these: 1) Qi is an effective deterrent of Chu aggression and were Qi removed then Chu would be free to attack other states, including Qin, more vigorously; and 2) If Qin sends a massive force into Qi, they will be leaving their own state undefended. Since Chu spans the entire east-west breadth of the 7 great Warring States, while Qin has their army off to the east attacking Qi, they can send a force westward into Qin and subdue it. The first argument seems rather specious since Chu at this point was rather weak, but the second makes sense. Even a weakened state can take an undefended nation whose army is far away from home.

When King Zhao was forty-six years old(20), the Prime Minister Marquis Rang talked of travelling to Qing Zao, as he desired to strike Qi and seize that which was nearby, (namely) Shou, because of that county’s vast cultivatable area. The Jijie of Xu Guang states: Jibei was the nearby county. According to the Zhengyi the reason it was said to be nearby was because the city wall was right on the boundary with Gong Qiu county in Yan province. Shou was further off, being a county in Yun province. Whereupon a man from Wei, calling himself Fan Sui and earning the salary of a teacher, ridiculed the Marquis Rang’s plan to attack Qi. In response, he crossed the border three times and advanced in order to attack Qi, but each time he was thwarted, and so spoke of these events to King Zhao of Qin. As a result, King Zhao employed Fan Sui. Fan Sui made it known that the Empress Dowager was concentrating power in her hands(21), wherefore the Marquis Rang took unto himself the powers of the feudal princes, as Jing Yang Jun and Gao Ling Jun were highly incompetent and owed their wealth to being members of the royal family. When King Zhao of Qin became aware of this, he dismissed him from the post of Prime Minister and ordered Jing Yang to go have everyone prevent (the Marquis Rang's) escape by surrounding the city. When the Marquis Rang reached the barrier, more than a thousand armed chariots had come forth.

The Marquis Rang met his end seizing control, and afterward he was interred. Qin resumed control of the prefectures.

I, your most impartial historian, am of this opinion(22): The Marquis Rang was King Zhao’s own uncle. Moreover, that Qin increased their territory to the east, and weakened the feudal princes such that at one time Qin was called Emperor of all the realm, and all of the people in the Western villages bowed down their heads in submission, these things are due to the efforts of the Marquis Rang. He achieved the highest rank and his success was overflowing, yet one man spoke out, and so he turned authority toward himself and seized power, with the result that because of this worry he met his end. And the entire situation stemmed from the detention of his army by an official! Suo Yin is in agreement with this assessment. The Marquis Rang was wise and knowledgeable, but he did not handle this emergency properly. The inner circles were partial toward the Empress Dowager and those on the outside were favorable toward King Zhao. Four of these came forward together to this place, and more joined in so as to create a boundary. He brought grief to Qi, hindered Chu, and clove Wei asunder as he surrounded Daliang. But due to the persuasion of a single man, worry and anger resulted in his death.

(20)263 B.C.

(21)Interestingly, Fan Sui was previously an official with Wei and had been sent, among other things, to visit King Xiang of Qi a few years back. More interestingly, after the Marquis Rang was killed following his poor handling of the crisis brought up by Fan Sui, Sui later went on to become Prime Minister of Qin, as it is recorded that sometime between 265 and 260 B.C. he met with the philosopher Xun Kuang in that capacity. Since the Marquis Rang died in 263 B.C. more or less, Fan sui must have become Prime Minister within, at the most, a year or two following his death. One wonders about whether Fan Sui exaggerated the situation for the purpose of getting the Marquis Rang either dismissed or killed so that he could take the spot himself. Having worked for Wei in the past he could not have been pleased with Rang's devastating attacks on Wei.

(22)This is taking some liberties with the text. Literally it just says 太史公曰 - "Extremely historian impartial/fair says" but the gist of it is that Sima Qian is giving his analysis of the events.

Last edited by Liu Yuante on Wed May 09, 2007 1:39 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:15 am

Wow, Adrian, that was some work there! I will check that in a bit.

In the meantime, here is Bu Zhi's SGZ biography, as requested by his namesake.


Bu Zhi (Zishan) [d. AD 248]

Bu Zhi, styled Zishan, hails from Huaiyin in Linhuai (1). When the world was overcome with calamities, he sought refuge in the Southlands. Being all alone and broke, he befriended Wei Jing of Guangling, who was of the same age as him. Together they made a living by growing melons. In the daytime they laboured; at night they studied the classics (2).

(1) History of Wu: In the state of Jin [of the Spring and Autumn Period] there was a high officer, Yang Shi, who was given a fief at Bu. Afterwards, there was one Bu Shu, who was one of Confucius’ seventy students. One of his descendents was a general during the Qin and Han times, and was made Marquis of Huaiyin for his achievements. Bu Zhi was his descendent.

(2) History of Wu: Bu Zhi studied all the arts in depth, and there was nothing in which he was not well-versed. By character he was kind, eloquent, and reserved; he was able to humble himself in order to survive in an adverse situation.

There was one Jiao Zhengqiang in Kuaiji, who headed a powerful clan in the commandery (3). His retainers were unrestrained in their conduct. Bu Zhi and Wei Jing, who were farming on Jiao’s lands, feared that they would be attacked by those retainers. So they brought a cover letter and a gift of melons to Zhengqiang, only to find him napping inside. Bu Zhi and Wei Jing waited by the door for a long time, and Wei Jing was ready to leave. Bu Zhi stopped him, saying, “The original reason for us coming here was because we fear his power. If we leave now out of pride, we would only raise the animosity.” After a long while, Zhengqiang finally opened his window and saw them. While still leaning on a low table behind a gauze screen, he had mats be brought for Bu Zhi and Wei Jing to sit on the ground outside the window. Wei Jing became more and more contemptuous of him, while Bu Zhi remained calm in his words and his facial expression. Zhengqiang then had food brought. He himself enjoyed a large tray of a large variety of fine foods, meats and grains, while Bu Zhi and Wei Jing were given just a small bowl of rice and some vegetables. Wei Jing could not bring himself to eating. Bu Zhi, on the other hand, enjoyed the meal thoroughly before bidding farewell. After they left, Wei Jing said to Bu Zhi angrily, “How can you tolerate this?” Bu Zhi said, “We are only poor people. The host thus treated us as poor people. This is just how things go; why should we feel that we are shamed?” (4)

(3) Zhengqiang’s personal name was Qiao. He had once served as Prefect of Zhengqiang.

(4) Wei Jing, styled Ziqi, eventually served as an Imperial Secretary.

When Sun Quan became General who Attacks the Caitiffs, he summoned Bu Zhi to him to serve as a secretary (5). Later, Bu Zhi was sent out to be Chief of Haiyan, and after a while he was recalled to the capital to be Chief Officer of the Eastern Department of the General of the Chariots and Cavalry (6). In the 15th year of Jian’an [AD 210], he was sent out again to be designated Grand Administrator of Poyang. In the middle of the year, he was reassigned to be Inspector of Jiaozhou and General of the Interior who Establishes Might. He led a thousand archers and officers and took the road south. In the following year, he was further granted the shichijie privileges(I) and the title of General of the Interior who Conquers the South. At that time, Liu Biao’s appointed Grand Administrator fo Cangwu, Wu Ju, harboured seditious thoughts, and though he appeared cooperative on the outside he was secretly planning trouble. And so Bu Zhi condescended and befriended him, and invited him to a meeting. At the meeting, he beheaded Wu Ju in front of all, and as a result Bu Zhi’s name struck awe in the hearts of all. Shi Xie and his brothers led their men to proclaim fealty [to the Wu court]. This marks the beginning of the submission of the south. Yong Kai, from a powerful clan in Yizhou, and others killed the Shu-appointed Grand Administrator Zheng Ang, and coordinated with Shi Xie in order to defect [to Wu]. Bu Zhi thus followed the appropriate customs and sent envoys to proclaim amnesty and welcome. For that, he was given the additional title of General who Pacifies the Barbarians, and granted the title of Marquis of Guangxin.

(5) History of Wu: After a year or so, Bu Zhi quit the position due to illness. He then went with Zhuge Jin of Langya and Yan Jun of Pengcheng to travel around the Wu areas. Together they made a good name for themselves, and were considered among the most talented men of the times.

(6) History of Wu: When Sun Quan was Governor of Xuzhou, he made Bu Zhi Assistant to the Provincial Governor, and recommended him as a “Flourishing Talent”.

(I) Shichijie: An officer (usually ranked at Provincial Inspector and up) granted shichijie is allowed to execute officers below the 2,000 shi rank (middle to lower rank officers; a shi is a measurement of salary) without approval from the throne.

In the first year of the Yankang reign [AD 220], Sun Quan sent Lü Dai to replace Bu Zhi, and Bu Zhi took ten thousand volunteer troops from Jiaozhou with him and left, going through Changsha. Right then, Liu Bei was marching eastward, and the barbarians of Wuling were rising in rebellion. Sun Quan thus ordered Bu Zhi to go towards Yiyang. After Liu Bei’s defeat, the commanderies around Lingling and Guiyang were all in turmoil, and set up blockades against [the Wu troops] everywhere. Bu Zhi thus went around to quell the uprisings. In the second year of the Huangwu reign [AD 244], Bu Zhi was transferred to be the Left Protector of the Army of the General of the Right, and made Marquis of Linxiang. In the 5th year [AD 226], Bu Zhi was granted jiajie (II) and transferred to be stationed at Oukou.

(II) Jiajie: An officer granted jiajie is allowed to execute violators of military law, without prior approval from the throne.

    When Sun Quan declared himself emperor, he made Bu Zhi General of the Elite Cavalry and designated Governor of Jizhou. In the same year, Bu Zhi served as Chief Controller of Xiling, and pacified the area in Lu Xun’s stead. Later on, Jizhou was given to be Shu’s part of the realm (III), so Bu Zhi was relieved of his position as Governor there. Around that time, the Crown Prince Sun Deng was stationed at Wuchang. Sun Deng was kind to people and loved goodness. He wrote to Bu Zhi, “Men of wisdom and good character are needed to promote and illustrate the great virtues, and to assist in the administration of the kingdom. Unfortunately, I am dim and ignorant, and do not understand the ways of the world. Though I do sincerely wish to exert myself in the propagation of the proper ways and in honouring the wise, I do not know the details about the scholars of the realm—who should I associate with first? Who should I meet last? I worry that my understanding is too far away from reality. The classics say, ‘If you love him, can you not make him labour? If you are loyal to him, can you not admonish him?’ The meaning of that illustrates my hope to get to know the true gentlemen!” And so Bu Zhi listed the names of eleven people who were serving in the Jingzhou area at that time—Zhuge Jin, Lu Xun, Zhu Ran, Cheng Pu, Pan Jun, Pei Xuan, Xiahou Cheng, Wei Jing, Li Su (7), Zhou Tiu, and Shi Gan—and evaluated each man’s achievements. He sent that along with a petition admonishing [Sun Deng] saying, “Your servant has heard that a ruler of men does not concern himself with minor matters, but trust his ministers and relevant offices to perform their tasks. In the past, King Shun employed the nine wise men [to rule the realm], and so he did not have to trouble himself with anything but was able to play his five-stringed zither and sing the Nanfeng song. He did not need to leave his halls and yet the realm was well-governed. When Duke Huan of Qi employed Guan Zhong, he himself was able to travel around in a carriage enjoying himself, while at the same time the state of Qi was orderly and respected by all other states. In more recent times, the High Progenitor of Han (IV) attracted the three heroes (V) to himself and thus was able to build an empire, while the King of West Chu (VI) lost talented supporters and thus success eluded him. When Ji An (VII) served in the court, the Prince of Huainan ceased his seditious thoughts; when Zhi Du (VIII) guarded the borders, the Xiongnu dared not show their face. Therefore, wherever there is one wise man present, enemies within ten thousand li bow down in submission. Truly they are the chief tools of the kingdom and the basis of its rise and fall. As of this time, the majesty of our kingdom has still not been announced to the lands north of the Han River; seditious and treacherous men still roam at large by the shores of theYellow River and the Luo River. This is truly the time to bring heroic men to yourself and to promote talented and virtuous people. I beseech Your Highness to take this seriously in order to gladden the hearts of your subjects.”

(III) See Chen Zhen’s SGZ biography for the details of the Shu-Wu agreement in the dividing up of China.

(7) History of Wu: Li Su, styled Weigong, was a man from Nanyang. In his youth he was famous for his talents. He was also talented at evaluating people, and was accurate in his accessments of people’s qualities. He would identify those of uncommon talents and make note of them in order to recommend them [to office]. He made his lists according to particular virtues, and all the items he listed them by were organized properly. Because of this, everyone acknowledged his accessments. Sun Quan recruited him to be Chief Secretary of the Human Resources Department, and 選 舉 號 為 得 才 。He requested to serve as an external officer, and so he was sent to be Grand Administrator of Guiyang. Officer and commoner alike held him in high honour. Later he was summoned back to the court as an advisor. When he died, both those who knew him personal and those who didn’t mourned for him greatly.

(IV) The High Progenitor of Han is Liu Bang, the founding emperor of the Han.

(V) That is, the strategist Zhang Liang, the commander Han Xin, and the statesman Xiao He.

(VI) The King of West Chu is Xiang Yu, Liu Bang’s archenemy.

(VII) Ji An: an upright minister in the court of Emperor Wu of Han. Chapter 120 of the Shiji [Records of the Grand Historian] says, “When the Prince of Huainan planned a rebellion, he was fearful of Ji An, and said of him, ‘He is direct and outspoken in his admonishments, and would fight to his death for justice and righteousness. It is difficult to sidetrack him by falsehoods.’”

(VIII) Zhi Du: A minister under Emperor Jing of the Western Han. Famous for his ability to stand up to corrupt officers and maintaining discipline, he was feared by the Xiongnu when he was stationed in the north. The Xiongnu thus spread rumours against him, and so the Empress Dou, who had borne a grudge against Zhi Du, had him executed. Soon after Zhi’s death, the Xiongnu launched a major attack towards the Han heartland.

    Some time after that, Lü Yi, Interior Secretary, was in charage of processing documents and petitions, and he incriminated many [officers]. Bu Zhi submitted a memorial, saying, “Your humble servant has heard that the censors have been unduly nitpicky and going out of their way to find fault with others, making cases sound more serious than they are and defaming people. They are constantly incriminating others for the purpose of securing their own power. Men innocent of all crimes or blemishes are severely punished without reason, causing the commoners who try hard to eke out a living between heaven and earth to tremble in fear. In the past, officers are chosen to manage judicial affairs based on their wisdom. When Gao Yao(IX) served as judicial officer, or when Lü Hou codified fining (X), or when Zhang and Yu were Commandants of Justice (XI), no innocent man was convicted. The reigns in which these ministers served prospered because of their actions. In comparison, those petty men in government office these days behave not as the ancients: taking bribes and framing innocent people, they regard human life lightly. Furthermore, they blame the consequences on their superiors and cause the populace to resent the court. As it is, one man’s words can destroy the foundation of proper government. Is this not most despicable?

“Illustrating the good virtues and taking care in giving out punishments, employing only men of wisdom to administer the law—these are the things praised in historical records. At this time, Your Majesty should consult Gu Yong for the cases in the capital, and Lu Xun and Pan Jun for the cases in Wuchang for the investigation of the truth behind those implicated; do it calmly and fairly, with a dedicated mind, focussing on nothing but on finding out the truth. Since I am saying these words honest to the gods above, I would not regret even should I be incriminated for saying this.”

(IX) Gao Yao was put in charge of all judicial affairs under the Sage King Shun’s reign.

(X) Lü Hou: Chief Judge under King Mu of the Western Zhou, who was commissioned to compile a new code of laws for saving the failing dynasty. “Lü’s Code” was the first to allow fining to replace other punishments, such as corporal punishment, exile, or execution.

(XI) Zhang Shizhi served as Commandant of Justice during Emperor Wen of Han’s reign, and Yu Dingguo held the same position during the reigns of Emperors Zhao and Xuan. Commandant of Justice was the highest rank in the judicial branch of the Western Han government. Both men were praised by the people for their complete fairness and their ability to discern the innocent from the guilty.

He also wrote, “The Son of Heaven has Heaven as his father and the Earth as his mother, and so those he employs in the palace and the courts are linked to the constellations of the sky. When [the Son of Heaven] issues edicts that are in harmony with the natural seasons, and employ the right people in office, then yin and yang would be in balance and the seven planets follow their natural course. However, in rececnt times, there are many faults in the offices, and even though there are trustworthy ministers, they are not trusted. How, then, can the natural environment not fall into chaos? This is the reason why we have had droughts for year after year—a result of an excess of the yang. Also, there were earthquakes on the fourteenth day of the fifth month of the sixth year in the Jiahe reign [June 24th, AD 237] and on the first and twenty-seventh days of the first month in the second year of the Chiwu reign [February 21st and March 19th, AD 238]. The Earth is associated with yin, and is the representation of ministers. When there is an excess of yin energy, the earth shakes. This is due to the fact that ministers are over-asserting their power in the court. Natural phenomena are warnings to he who rules over men, and must not be considered lightly!”

He then wrote, “Prime Minister Gu Yong, Commander-in-Chief Lu Xun, and Grand Master of Ceremonies Pan Jun have great foresight, and are grave, responsible people. Their only aspiration is to exert themselves in loyalty. They worry [about the kingdom] all night long, and find no peace in sleep or meals—all because their minds are always on bringing order to the realm and benefiting the people, and on drawing up long-term plans for our nation. These men can be said to be the trusted performers of your will and the ministers on whom the nation relies. It is advisable to let them perform their tasks without having other officers censoring their offices, criticizing their efficiency, or evaluating their accomplishments or failures. Even if these three ministers perchance neglect certain things, they would never dare to abuse their power to try to cheat their emperor.”

He then wrote, “If we advertise reward to acknowledge the good, establish punishments for the wicked, employ the wise to use their abilities, and carry out justice according to the laws—then how could there be any task where we will not succeed, or any affair that we cannot put in order? Would there then be anything that we will not hear when we listen, or perceive when we look? If each commandery of a hundred square li can employ the right people to support each order in upholding the good government of the kingdom, would it even be possible for the administration to be poorly run? I have heard that currently, each prefectural office has its own appointed staff [in addition to the regular staff]. This causes an excess of bureaucrats, which is a nuisance to the commoners. The customs of the land are corrupted by this. Furthermore, petty men, granted with imperial powers, seek not to serve the country but only to abuse their power. Not only do they hinder you from hearing and seeing the truth, they are furthermore an evil to the populace. My humble opinion is that they should all be removed from power.” Sun Quan then understood [the severity of the situation], and had Lü Yi executed. All through this affair, Bu Zhi made many recommendations to rehabilitate those affected, and to save those who were victimized. He submitted scores of letters to Sun Quan. Though Sun Quan did not listen to all his recommendations, he did accept his advice at times, and many people were saved by Bu Zhi (8)

(8) Records of Wu: Bu Zhi had once submitted a petition saying, “Wang Qian and other defectors from the north said that the northern troops were planning to attack eastward. They were making many cloth bags in order to fill them with sand, dam up the River, and send a mighty force towards Jingzhou. If we don’t prepare against that now, we wouldn’t be able to deal with them should their plan is carried out. We ought to be on our guard.” Sun Quan said, “This Cao in power [Cao Rui] is weak and degenerate. How can he have such designs? I bet that he would not dare to come. If I am wrong, I will have a thousand bullocks slaughtered and throw a feast in your name.” In later times, he told Lü Fan and Zhuge Ke about what Bu Zhi had said, “Everytime I read Bu Zhi’s petition, I couldn’t stop laughing. This River has existed ever since the beginning of time – how can anyone fill it up with sandbags?”

In the 9th year of Chiwu [AD 246], he took Lu Xun’s place as Prime Minister. He still took in students, and was never found without a book in his hands. His attire and household decorations were those of a scholar’s. However, in his inner halls, his wives and concubines were dressed lavishly, and he was ridiculed quite a bit for that. He was stationed in Xiling for twenty years, during which time the neighbouring enemies grew to respect his character. By nature Bu zhi was generous and kind, and able to win people’s hearts. He hid his emotions under a calm exterior, but carried himself with a serious and respectful air whatever he was doing.

He died in the 11th year [AD 248], and his son Bu Xie was heir. Xie resumed his father’s military command, and was promoted to General who Consoles the Army. After Bu Xie’s death, Bu Ji, his son, inherited his marquisate. Bu Xie’s younger brother Bu Chan continued as Controller of Xiling, and was promoted to General who Manifests Might and given the noble title of Marquis of Xiting. In the first year of the Fenghuang reign [AD 272], he was summoned back to the court to be Controller of the Imperial Guard. Since Bu Chan’s family had lived in Xiling for generations, he feared that this sudden recall implied that he had not performed his duties well. Fearing as well that he would be slandered against, he surrendered his city to Jin. He then sent Bu Ji and his younger brother Bu Xuan to report to Luoyang. The Jin court had Bu Chan control all military affairs of Xiling, and made him General of the Guards, and allowed him the honours of the Three Lords. He was also made an Honorary Palace Attendant, given the jiajie privileges to be designated Governor of Jiaozhou, and granted the noble title of Duke of Yidu. Bu Ji was to inspect all military affairs of Jiangling, and was made General of the Left, Attendant of the Imperial Entourage, and designated Grand Administrator of Luling. He was transferred to be Marquis of Jiangling. Bu Xuan was made a Secretary of the Imperial Offices, General who Illustrates Majesty, and was granted the title of Marquis of Duxiang. The Jin court then ordered Yang Hu, General of the Chariots and Cavalry, and Yang Zhao, Inspector of Jingzhou, to go to Bu Chan’s aid. Sun Hao had Lu Kang march west [to engage them]. Yang Hu and his company retreated, and Lu Kang was able to take the city and behead Bu Chan and his familiy. The line of the Bu’s was thus destroyed; only Bu Xuan’s line remained.
Last edited by Lady Wu on Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Tue Aug 24, 2004 1:19 am

Good stuff, I don't know nearly as much about the later period Wu folks, that helps tremendously.

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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:59 pm

Great bio. Thanks for working so hard. One question though, when Bu Zhi listed the people, he mentioned Cheng Pu, obviously a different one because the famous Cheng Pu died way before Jing was captured.
Lu Xun- "After much observation of how Liu Bei had been leading troops in his career, I see that he had more failures than success; hence, he is not much of a threat."
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:21 am

Biography of Marquis Rang is complete. Somehow, I don't think Lady Wu meant for me to take an entire month, but be that as it may, it's done. Instead of pointlessly lengthening the thread I've simply edited my last translation post to include the entire text. Notes will be forthcoming after dinner tonight. Also, though I continue to update this in this thread due to it being the locale of the original request, if a mod or admin feels that it doesn't really belong here - which I could see - then feel free to move it to WHD.

Edit: Notes are now complete.

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